Representation Review initial proposal

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Submissions are now open for the Stratford District Council Representation Review.

What is a Representation Review?
Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, all council’s have to review their representation arrangements at least once every six year. This is called the ‘Representation Review’. This includes reviewing such things as the number of councillors and wards we should have, whether we should have community boards and if so, where the boundaries are.
This part of the review involves councils adopting an initial proposal, and then asking communities to tell us what they think through submissions. Council will hold a hearing for any submitters who would like to present their views in person. Councillors then consider the submissions before deciding on the final proposal.
After the final proposal has been adopted, there will be an opportunity for submitters to appeal the outcome, and for anyone to object if there are changes from the initial proposal. Any appeals or objections are referred to the Local Government Commission to resolve.
Why do we need a Representation Review?
Stratford District Council last reviewed its representation arrangements in 2012, so now it must complete a review in time for the 2019 elections. Currently, Stratford has 10 Councillors and the Mayor, and the Stratford District Council is proposing to change this to 8 Councillors plus the Mayor.
What has to be considered?
There are three things that have to be considered – identifying communities of interest, effective representation and fair representation. To achieve this, we must:
A) Identify the communities of interest
B) Ensure there is effective representation (number of councillors and how they are elected eg by wards, at large, or a mixture) to those communities of interest,
C) Ensure fair representation (each councillor should represent about the same number of people with a variance of +/- 10% (where wards are adopted))
D) Determine whether the current ward system still represents the community effectively or not, and whether any additional wards need to be established.
E) Determine whether there be community boards to represent the communities of interest

Representation Review Initial Proposal

Council Proposal:
Keep it as it currently is. Two Communities - Rural and Urban.
• Different expectations of levels of service and infrastructure between urban and rural communities.
• Differences in matters of importance to each community, such as roading.

Council Proposal:
Keep it as it currently is. No Community Boards
• Areas within the rural community have been well represented by Councillors with connections to those areas.
• Council uses both special Council Meetings and specific consultation meetings in these areas to make sure that there is a way for concerns and needs to be raised.

Council Proposal:
Keep it as it currently is. Two wards - one Rural Ward and one Urban Ward
• A two ward structure reflects the two communities within the district.
• Any finer ward structure could only be from an arbitrary split within one or both of the wards.

Council Proposal:
Ward Boundary to remain unchanged.
• The current ward boundary has historical significance to the Stratford community and fairly represents the two communities ie; rural and urban.

Electoral wards

Council Proposal:
There are currently a total number of 10 Councillors for the Stratford District. Council proposes this changes to 8 Councillors, plus the Mayor.
• This provides effective and fair representation. Consideration must be given to workload required for each elected member and the ability to attract quality candidates that can effectively represent their communities.
• Reflects the balance between having too many Councillors and the increasing cost and complexity of running Council.

Council Proposal:
The distribution of Councillors change to 3 Rural Ward and 5 Urban Ward Councillors. Currently there are 4 Rural Ward and 6 Urban Ward Councillors.
• As at 30 June 2017, the population of Stratford District was 9,420, split 3,710 Rural and 5,710 Urban. If Stratford District retains the current two wards, and decreases to 8 Councillors, then the number of elected members per ward - 3 Councillors for Rural (+4.92%) and 5 Councillors for Urban (-3.01%) - satisfies the fair representation criteria (+/- 10% rule).

Have your say on Stratford District Councils initial review by clicking through the link below

Online Submission Survey

Or download a copy of the submission form here